The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has achieved a significant breakthrough in combating cybercrime with the successful conviction of four individuals: Paul Tochukwu, also known as Mike Tyler Wilson; Wilfred Alex, alias Roseline Nicholas; Jerry Magaji, known as Derick Mark; and Gowon Titus, who goes by the online handle Marianaaarav.
The convictions were secured before Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court, where each defendant faced separate one-count charges related to cybercrime.
These arrests were made following actionable intelligence received about the suspects’ involvement in fraudulent activities. The investigation revealed that they used stolen identities to defraud innocent individuals by luring them into fictitious romantic relationships.
One of the charges against Paul Tochukwu, also known as Mike Tyler Wilson, stated that he impersonated military personnel, Mike Tyler Wilson, from Houston, Texas, United States of America, on Facebook and Google Chat in December 2023. In this assumed identity, he obtained gift cards worth $450 USD from Diana Vaughn, deceiving her into believing they were in a romantic relationship. This act constitutes cheating by impersonation, an offence under Section 308 of the Penal Code Law, 2017 of Kaduna State, and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.
Likewise, Jerry Magaji, operating under the alias Derick Mark, impersonated military personnel on Instagram in June 2023. Posing as Derick Mark, he deceitfully engaged Lynda Roberts in a supposed romantic relationship, through which he swindled her $150 USD. Consequently, he committed cheating by impersonation, as defined by Section 308 of the Penal Code Law, 2017 of Kaduna State, and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.
Upon arraignment, all four defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges. Consequently, the prosecution counsel, E.K Garba, Y.J Matiyak, K.S Ogunlade, and M.U Gadaka, urged the court to convict them accordingly, considering their pleas.
In response, Justice Khobo found the defendants guilty and handed down a sentence of two years imprisonment or a fine of N150,000 each.
In addition to the prison term or fine, the court ordered that they must forfeit all proceeds obtained from their criminal activities, as well as the electronic devices and gadgets utilized in perpetrating these offences, to the Federal Government.
This landmark conviction serves as a strong deterrent to others engaged in cybercrime and reaffirms the commitment of the EFCC to apprehend and bring to justice those who exploit technology to defraud and harm innocent victims.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate